Chipotle-kissed Red Beans and Sweet Potato Chili

No, I’m not done with the bowls but I did save some other posts to break them up a bit so it wasn’t bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl….

Slow cookers are awesome if you don’t know that already. You can turn dried beans into a big pile of mouth-watering bits to eat as is or freeze in batches to use in recipes. All without pot watching. Nothing better than getting home from work to find your kitchen already smells delicious.

This one is Chipotle-kissed Red Beans and Sweet Potato Chili from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Look at that color! If you follow the recipe it’s pretty mild, so punch up the hot stuff if you like to feel the burn. And there’s only a little bit of oil in the whole pot so it’s pretty much just a bowl of goodness. Not pictured: unhealthy bread or corn bread slathered with Earth Balance.



Anshu’s Red Lentil Sambar

After some disappointing Indian food out, it was time to start making it at home again. Looking for something fairly easy, I found Anshu’s Red Lentil Sambar. And bonus, it would use up some of my stockpiled red lentils! Cauliflower was stupid expensive at the store and I’m not an eggplant fan so I skipped both of those and replaced with beets, potato and baby lima beans. This is one that definitely gets better over night. The first night it was okay, but the leftovers have been really good. It made a ton so I’m probably going to end up freezing some so I don’t have to throw it away. I can only eat the same thing for so many days before I get tired of it. I’ve just been eating it over brown rice.

Spicy Black Bean Chili

A slow cooker is one of those fairly inexpensive kitchen appliances that can make life so much easier. If you’re the busy sort that doesn’t want to resort to pre-packaged foods, you want one. If you endure hot summers and don’t want to turn on your stove or oven, you want one. If you like cooking up batches of dried beans, you want one.

Here’s how easy it is. I decided I was going to make the Spicy Black Bean Chili from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. So one evening I put the beans on to soak. Next morning, I tossed them in the slow cooker, covered them with water, added a piece of kombu (I always do this with beans. It’s supposed to make them, uh, more butt friendly.) While I was at work, they cooked up perfectly. That evening, I did the minimal prep work, filled the cooker crock with the ingredients, and tossed it in the fridge overnight. Next morning, it came out of the fridge, cooked on low all day, and then became dinner that night. Helpful hint: putting it in the fridge is a good way to buy you another hour or so if you’re going to be gone longer than the maximum cook time.

I like this recipe but it is fairly mildly flavored. I usually just start tossing some extra stuff in there. It’s different every time. This time I think I just used cumin and cayenne. Sometimes I use chipotle powder or even a bit of chipotle in adobo.  What makes this even better is melting some Daiya vegan cheese on top and sprinkling on chunks of avocado.

Now, if you want to get really crazy, you can make the polenta fries from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. Thanks to the 50% polenta tubes we found a few weeks back. Instead of cutting them in planks as the recipe calls for, I cut them in cubes. Also, instead of rosemary I seasoned them with a little chili powder. Oh, and I don’t bother peeling the polenta tube. That seems…unnecessary. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you’ll know if you see the recipe. Now that I’ve actually made polenta, I need to just make and use my own. Okay, so it isn’t corn bread, but it’s similar, right? This had to work…and it did! Tell me you don’t want to eat this:

Quick Asian Noodles For Dinner

Last night I decided to cook the quickest thing I had planned so there was time for me to lick on my new MacBook. The upside of getting my house burglarized, I suppose.

I mostly followed the recipe for Soba Noodles with Asian Greens and Slivers of Tofu from Quick Fix Vegetarian. Okay, so those aren’t soba noodles. Still, they’re Asian. The greens part is Chinese Broccoli, Gai Lan, I think. It’s kind of similar to rapini or broccoli rabe. Think really skinny broccoli that’s almost all leaf with little bitty florettes. Also, instead of baked Asian tofu, I used regular firm tofu that I browned up in a pan with a garlic clove and a sprinkle of tamari. Oh yeah, and I added half a red bell pepper. If you’ve cooked a bunch of stir fry type dishes, you know that the recipe is mostly just a suggestion. The more the make, the more comfortable you’ll be subbing in whatever you feel like. I ended up adding a lot more tamari than it called for, and then sprinked salt on top. I can be a salt fiend though. Really tasty though and had a high veg/noodle ratio so it was probably reasonably healthy as well.